9/13 Football Notebook

Rich Rodriguez met with the media after Tuesday's practice as the Wildcats continue to prepare for Hawaii.

* Gerhard De Beer has been inconsistent in his first two games and Rich Rodriguez has generally been happy with his play.

"It is really important to him," Rodriguez said. "He has worked really hard considering four years ago he didn’t even know how to put on his pads.

"He is a very conscience guy, real smart guy, so I have been pleased with him. He was a project and now he is playing, so we consider him like everybody else."

* Hawaii continues its remarkable travel schedule this week. The Rainbow Warriors have already played in Australia, Ann Arbor, Hawaii, and will now travel to Tucson.

"Going to Australia was a long, taxing trip for them," Rodriguez said. "I don’t know if they went to Ann Arbor early or not, but they played with pretty good energy in the last game. I am sure they were happy to be back home, but that is certainly a challenge to do that many miles in that short period of time."

* Cody Ippolito will likely be suspended for the first half of Saturday's game and his replacements will share time.

"I don’t know if it will be Jake Matthews or Michael Barton," Rodriguez said. "I haven’t talked to Coach Yates about who is going to be the first guy. It may depend on the package or what defense we’re running."

* Speaking of Jake Matthews, he has recovered well from Lisfranc injury.

"He’s a smart guy and he’s a veteran," Rodriguez said. "I have been really proud of the way he has battled because that was a really tough injury and it took quite a bit to come back, but he’s 100 percent."

* Freddie Tagaloa has struggled early in the season, but continues to work to improve.

"I didn’t think his last game was his best," Rodriguez said. "He played hard, he always played hard. His last game wasn’t his best game that he has had. It is so important to Freddie. That is one thing I like about Freddie, that he continues to work on it."

* One of the more overlooked aspects of Arizona's offense is how much the wide receivers are asked to block.

"We have a think called got man, which is the percentage of times you should be able to get your man," Rodriguez said. "We want it to be 100 percent. It’s not been 100 percent, but it has been pretty solid.

"Nate Phillips has probably been the best over the last couple of years, the most consistent. The older guys that are stronger and understand leverage are usually the best."

* Arizona continues to work with Brandon Dawkins in order to balance his running ability with when he should be throwing.

"I think there is a tendency where you just run where maybe taking off and then throwing is a bigger play," Rodriguez said. "We don’t want to take away from his creativity, but it has to be within the framework of the offense.

"Let the play break down first before you get out and scramble. He does have the ability to run and get away from people, so we tell him when he seems man coverage or doesn’t see anybody open to take off."

* Although Rodriguez spoke highly of Hawaii's offense, he quickly turned the attention to Arizona's defense.

"Their offense is athletic," Rodriguez said. "They have good running backs, big upfront. Their quarterback is a smart guy and sees the field well. We have to fix some things. Zero three and outs last game and very rarely will you ever win if that’s the case."


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